Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dirty Laundry

Here, we see the female in her natural habitat, presenting to her mate.Other people have discussed in great detail the things that are wrong with this statue. There's the problem with MJ's terribly stretched-out anatomy; there's the fact that she's barefoot and doing the laundry; there's the fact that she's wearing low-rider jeans and the worst thong-wedgie I've ever seen; there's the fact that despite wearing her crappiest pair of ripped jeans to do the washin', she's also wearing a pearl necklace and a nice, low-cut shirt; there's the fact that even though the Adam Hughes image it's based on has the same backwards 1950s attitude toward women, at least it isn't as egregiously distorted; there's the fact that no one washes clothes in a bucket anymore; there's the fact that no one, even someone who actually washed their clothes in a bucket, would do it on such a short table that they had to bend over like that, as if begging for major back problems; there's the fact that "Comiquette" is just two letters shy of "coquette," which is just a little too apt.

Those are all valid things that are wrong with this stupid statue. Any one of them would be reason to be upset, reason to write long and angry rants, reason to rally together and write Marvel and Sideshow Collectibles (and DC, just for good measure) for change.

But for me, my immediate first thought when I saw it, the thing which stuck out most as horrendously wrong, was that Peter Parker does his own damn laundry.
It's really, really sad how often Peter uses a paper bag as his chosen disguise.

I mean, I guess MJ might do it once in awhile, but I've always gotten the feeling that Pete's the more domestic of the two. And either way, neither of them is going to be filling buckets with warm water and Tide in order to wash the Venom-spit out of the ol' red-and-blues, least of all Mary Jane. I think Peter would feel obligated to do his own laundry, that he'd feel guilty if Mary Jane had to do it for him. You know, with great odor comes great responsibility, that sort of thing.

I honestly have no idea who would pay money for this statue; you'd think the people who would be so desperate as to have a burning desire for it are the same ones who would be upset by a glaring continuity error like that.

There is one thing that would make this a little better: if Marvel and Sideshow teamed up to do a statuette with accomplished seamstress Peter Parker, dressed in some tighty-whiteys, sewing up all the rips in MJ's jeans.

And to be completely honest, I'd be far more likely to buy that, than the curvaceous cheesecake monstrosity above.


SallyP said...

I agree with the notion that this cheesy little statue is an utter disgrace, and yet I must point out that everyone seems to think that she's actually washing his costume in that little bucket.

As the main laundry doer in my family, I think that she's just taking it OUT of the laundry basket, and is going to be stuffing it into the washing machine, which is off-panel. Still ridiculous, but not quite as insane as dribbling wet fabric all over that nice little table.

Frankly, I want a statue of Peter standing sheepishly in his underwear.

David C said...

I think Peter is *definitely* the one with the domestic skills. If Ditko, Romita, et al are any guides, he's a pretty damn good seamster (is that even a word? It oughtta be!)

Anonymous said...

Of course Pete does his own laundry: With a great suit comes great responsibility.

Mens Vaga said...

Hm, Petey may do his own laundry but did you miss the story where he actually stumbled upon the guy that does the fabric repairs for everyone else in the Marvel Universe? I got that story in his 500th Birthday TPB. It was pretty damn cool and so not stereotypical at all.

I also think the statue is really disgusting but no more than Witchblade or Fanthom statues that are pretty much them naked with some other things around them so it looks like art. *shrugs*

Mens Vaga said...

Oh and does anyone know what detergent is using? Spidey's costume is pretty much red and blue and those colors are the ones that bleed the most, it would be nice to know how Spidey keeps his suit so bright.

...Why are you looking at me like that? was just a question...geez.

Tom Foss said...

sallyp: Now that you mention it, he Adam Hughes original image makes it pretty clear that she's just pulling the costume out of a laundry basket. I think the reason for the confusion with the statue is that the laundry bucket is solid, when every laundry basket I've ever seen has holes in the side, that the costume is strangely dark and wrinkled, giving it a wet look, and that there's a bottle of detergent by her feet.

But yeah, now that you mention it, I think it's supposed to be her just pulling the costume out of a laundry basket, but it looks like maybe the sculptor missed that point too.

david c: I had the same problem (and the same thought), but I figure that if "actor" can be gender-neutral, so can "seamstress."

J: See, I tolerate it with Witchblade and Fathom and the like, because they were created for cheesecake. To this day, I have no idea what Fathom's powers or personality are (not that I've sought out any info to that effect) other than to be scantily-clad underwater.

As far as Petey's detergent, I want to see the "Year One" story where a faded, purple-and-lavender Spider-Man goes after Spot and the Gibbon, after ruining his costume with the wrong detergent.

Knowing Spidey, he washes it in Clorox: Unstable Molecules or something.

Diamondrock said...

Yeah, after screwing up enough times he probably got some of whatever super-science detergent Reed Richards invented...

Keath said...

heeeey - you're right! I never thought about that!

Not that I was planning on buying the statue anyway, but if I had to give a reason to a horde of enraged Spidey fans, a continuity-based one would be just chuffy :)

Anonymous said...

he probably got some of whatever super-science detergent Reed Richards invented...

That would be Sue Richards, if this statue is any indication.

Amy Reads said...

Hi Tom,
But yeah, now that you mention it, I think it's supposed to be her just pulling the costume out of a laundry basket, but it looks like maybe the sculptor missed that point too.

Also, if I read the original art correctly, Mary Jane is pulling his suit out of a *communal* laundry bin. It seems as if there is a piece of her own unmentionables in the bucket, hanging over the side. This isn't translated to the statue, and it becomes a piece of the Spidey suit instead.

It doesn't make me like the statue, but it does make me continue to like Adam Hughes (I can't help it; I really do love his art).

NotACat said...

Being a non-fanatic (but an occasional fan) I seem to have a completely different take on this from just about anyone else I've seen comment.

It looks to me as if she's found his costume in the bucket, where he has presumably left it to soak after getting it even more fouled up than normal. Whether this is a "so he does his own laundry?" discovery moment, or a "caught you again leaving your filthy rags to soak" moment I can't quite tell, but there's defininitely a "gotcha" gleam in her eyes from where I'm looking.

As to the exaggeration of her physique, this seems to be reasonably in line with most caricatures that a non-comic person sees on occasion: is it really that much more egregious than usual? I'm thinking of some of the Buffy figurines I've seen in passing, in particular…

Unknown said...

PS if there's any reason for outrage caused by this statue it's because her hair looks closer to brown than red...

Tom Foss said...

Wow, Lyndon. I like how you compared me to "uptight neo cons," radical Muslims, and "butch dyke feminist[s]." There's three groups of people you wouldn't expect to have a whole lot of overlap, certainly not in a straight liberal non-Muslim male like myself. It's almost as if you don't actually know what those words mean, or that you didn't actually read what I had to say about the statue. But that would be a silly thing to imply--after all, you spent all that time writing a comment about how I sh*t on your internets, and with such good grammar and punctuation, I know you must have spent an awfully long time on it.

I too grew up reading Spider-Man comics, and Mary Jane is clearly a sex symbol. I mean, she's a supermodel. That's not the problem I had with the statue. My problem with this particular statue is that it's doing "sexy" all wrong. The Adam Hughes art that the statue is based on? That's somewhat more tasteful sexiness. It's playful, it's cute, it's well-proportioned, and while it still has MJ sticking her arse out like she's presenting and wearing a nice pearl necklace and low-cut top with torn-up hip-hugger jeans, it has some depth to it. The statue, on the other hand, exaggerates her proportions well beyond human tolerance, makes her jeans somehow skintight, removes a lot of the nuance and playfulness from both the scene and her expression, and puts a big ol' tear right there on her left cheek, as if to say "these are pants that no supermodel would be caught dead in." There's a difference between the pinup style of the Hughes concept art and what eventually got translated to the statue, and I think that difference is for the worse.

And yet, when it boils down to it, your suggested problem is very similar to one of my main problems with the statue: it doesn't fit the continuity. You say MJ's hair isn't red enough, and that's true. I say Peter Parker does his own laundry, and I backed it up with evidence. Do women do laundry? Shockingly enough, yes. But I don't think MJ's the one taking the spider-suit down to the laundromat.

But thanks for stopping by!